Taiwan exported fewer bicycles last year than a year earlier, but their total value surged, according to the latest statistics from the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association (TBEA).
Taiwan exported 4.33 million bicycles last year, down 1.04 percent from 4.37 million in 2011.
However, the value of the country’s bicycle exports rose 8.59 percent to more than US$1.8 billion last year, with the average price per bicycle up 9.73 percent year-on-year to US$416.93, the statistics showed.
Bikes exported from Taiwan to Europe and Japan sold for an average of US$328 and US$390 respectively, but bicycles sold to China proved even more lucrative, averaging US$480 per unit.
The high unit price of bicycles shipped to China reflected rising living standards and the growing importance of leisure in China, Ministry of Economic Affairs officials said.
According to TBEA statistics, export volume to China rose 179 percent last year to 94,200 bicycles, while total export value was up 158 percent to US$45.29 million.
Exports of bike parts and components to China also showed gains last year, rising 38.31 percent from a year earlier to US$89.85 million, the statistics showed.
Thanks to steady sales in Asia, the US and Europe, the nation’s two leading bicycle makers reported record revenues last year.
Giant Manufacturing Co (巨大機械) reported revenue of NT$53.49 billion last year, an increase of 14.02 percent over 2011, while Merida Industry Co (美利達) posted a revenue of NT$24.2 billion last year, up 20.04 percent year-on-year.
Overall, Taiwan shipped US$924 million worth of bike parts and components to the rest of the world last year, up 18.27 percent from the previous year.
The bicycle sector also showed export gains in a growing niche — electric bicycles. The country shipped 25,707 such bicycles, valued at US$16.76 million, last year, representing 40 percent growth in volume and 28 percent growth in value year-on-year.